A new health and social care service supporting the most sick and vulnerable Salford adults – often elderly people – has been launched by Salford Together*.
The city-wide Urgent Care team are working with the North West Ambulance service to safely support people in their own homes who urgently need treatment and care. This avoids unnecessary transfers to Accident and Emergency and stays in hospital.
The team provides a response in the communities where people live within two hours, helping to support adults with an urgent health or social care need at home for up to 72 hours.
The team includes: an advanced practitioner, mental health and social work practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
This new way of working means people are treated in their own homes without the need and the distress of being transferred to hospital unless it is necessary.
The experience of one local resident, Raymond, after suffering a shoulder injury shows just how big a difference the team can make.
Here is Raymond’s story:
Raymond is an incredibly active man who lives with his wife of 49 years, Elaine. Raymond spends a lot of time in his garden, maintaining his three lawns and hanging baskets. He enjoys sport and has a wide circle of friends.
After experiencing a shoulder injury Raymond received support from Salford’s Urgent Care Team. Reflecting on the Saturday morning when he believes his shoulder problems started, Raymond said, ‘I had three lawns to mow and a rugby match to catch at lunchtime. I was in a bit of a rush and probably overdid it’.
Two days later, Raymond was playing darts with his friends at his local pub when he suddenly felt intense pain. He said, ‘I’ve had a frozen shoulder before but this was so much more painful, I had to go straight home’. He visited his GP the next day and was prescribed a pain killer.
A short time later he began being violently sick and feeling dizzy. Elaine said, ‘he collapsed on his bed with his eyes rolling backwards and I was so scared for him I phoned my son straight away’. Their son arrived and immediately called an ambulance.
The ambulance service quickly assessed Raymond and diagnosed an intolerance to the pain killers he had been taking. They explained that he didn’t need to go to hospital but could be seen at home instead by the new Urgent Care Team.
Elaine was relieved that he didn’t need to go to the hospital. Raymond is her main carer and they had never been apart in 49 years.
Raymond said, ‘it was no time at all before the team arrived’. They assessed Raymond and prescribed an alternative medication. Raymond explained, ‘it was amazing, I had no transport so the pharmacist even went to the chemist and got my medication for me’. The physio gave Raymond some advice for his shoulder and the team kept a close eye on him for 72 hours, during which time his medication had to be reviewed due to further sickness.
Raymond kept to his physio exercises and on day three was referred for an x-ray by the team. Raymond said, ‘it was marvellous, the physio left my house at 3pm and by 3:30pm she had an x-ray appointment for me’.
He was diagnosed with a rotator cuff injury and advised to continue with his physio.
Raymond said, ‘the pain was so bad at first, I couldn’t even sleep in my own bed’. Raymond had to lie in different positions on the sofa until 5am when his wife would get up and tell him to go to bed but he hardly slept.
The team encouraged him to keep up with the physio and five weeks later he is starting to feel like his old self again.
Raymond is now back in his garden, tending to his baskets, going to the rugby and meeting up with friends again.
He said, ‘whether you are 8 or 80, you think you’re invisible and something like this really shocks you, but the team made all the difference!’
* Salford Together is a partnership between Salford City Council, NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Primary Care Together and Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.